Robert Duncan

“Do you know the old language?”: Passages as Anarchist Intervention

In 2008, when Andy Weaver published his article “Promoting ‘a community of thoughtful men and women’: Anarchism in Robert Duncan’s Ground Work Volumes” in ESC: English Studies in Canada, he noted that “when it comes to Duncan’s poetry, [the] underlying political anarchism often goes unnoticed” (75). Weaver points to Duncan scholars Norman Finkelstein and Nathaniel … Continue reading

Robert Duncan

“O weaver, weaver”: Disapperance and (Un)Integration in the Passages

When I write about Duncan’s assertion, in “Notes on Notation,” that the poems in the Passages series “are but passages of a poem beyond that calls itself Passages” and that they ultimately “belong to the unfolding revelation of a Sentence beyond the work” (5), I do not mean to suggest that these poems, while dispersed … Continue reading

Robert Duncan

“When the words he wrote / were his”: Robert Duncan and Communal Language

                                                   Robert Duncan told me his poetry was picked up from other people.     The only time he felt, he said, like using quotation marks was when the words he wrote were his. (John Cage, “Diary: How to Improve the World (You Will Only    Make Matters Worse) Continued 1968 (Revised)”13) Robert Duncan’s Passages seems, to me, … Continue reading